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Articles in industry publications

Converting motors from horizontal mount to vertical mount

Examine mechanical factors that should be considered when applying a horizontal ball-bearing motor in a vertical mounting position

  • October 2019
  • Number of views: 147
Trade press article Plant Services

Occasionally an end user wants to take a motor designed for horizontal mounting and use it in a vertical position. This article addresses some of the key mechanical factors that should be considered when applying a horizontal ball-bearing motor in a vertical mounting position.

How to deal with wet or flooded motors

Saltwater becomes a major problem

  • October 2019
  • Number of views: 117
Trade press article Plant Engineering

Flooding in the aftermath of tropical storms, including hurricanes, monsoons and cyclones, and with their associated heavy rainfall can shut down hundreds of plants along the Gulf Coast, from Florida to Texas, as well as in other places around the world. And they are doing so more often. To get them up and running again, maintenance departments and motor repairers face the daunting task of cleaning muck and moisture from many thousands of electric motors and generators. The process involved in such situations can take weeks, if not months, and requires special clean-up procedures for motors contaminated by saltwater.

Get your bearings: Electric motor lubrication 101

How often should electric motors be lubricated? How can you be sure you’re using the right amount? Here’s your primer.

  • June 2019
  • Number of views: 64
Trade press article Plant Services

This article looks at the factors that go into determining how often a motor should be lubricated and how much lubricant they should recieve.

Wear ring clearance for centrifugal pumps

Understand the pump specific speed to help establish proper tolerance

  • June 2019
  • Number of views: 124
Trade press article Pumps & Systems

One of the most common repairs on centrifugal pumps is replacing worn or damaged wear rings. To restore efficient, reliable operation and prevent catastrophic pump failure, it is critical to restore proper clearances between the stationary casing wear ring and the rotating impeller wear ring. Although many pump manufacturers provide clearances and dimensions, some do not. There are plenty of aging pumps around from now-defunct manufacturers for which dimension data is simply not available.

In such cases, the rule of thumb that follows provides some guidance for acceptable running clearances, or the minimum running clearance chart in American Petroleum Institute (API) Standard 610 can be used as a guide.

Considerations for using VFDs with standard motors

There are areas of concern when trying to control both speed and cost

  • June 2019
  • Number of views: 72
Trade press article Plant Engineering

End users desiring speed and/or torque control often buy variable-frequency drives (VFDs) to modify existing applications where a standard induction motor is in place. Frequently, they try to control costs by using that existing standard induction motor. Before taking that path, however, it is best to consider a few areas of concern with the approach.

Selecting Replacement 3-Phase Squirrel Cage Motors

How to make sure the motor is matched to your specific application

  • March 2019
  • Number of views: 58
Trade press article Electrical Construction & Maintenance

Selection of replacement motors is usually straightforward if the ratings are equivalent. Sometimes, however, a different type of motor is necessary or desirable. For success in these cases, it is essential that the replacement motor provide the required performance — and do so reliably.

Know your degree-of-protection codes

What level of protection do your machine enclosures offer? Here's a guide.

  • January 2019
  • Number of views: 98
Trade press article Plant Services

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard 60529, “Degrees of protection provided by enclosures (IP code),” addresses the degrees of protection for electrical machines (motors and generators). The “IP” acronym means “international protection” but is sometimes referred to as “ingress protection.” The IP code is commonly displayed on the nameplates of metric machines that are manufactured to IEC standards.

EASA explains upcoming pump standards

New requirements in 2020 offer opportunities for improving system function

  • January 2019
  • Number of views: 92
Trade press article Pumps & Systems

Starting in January 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will begin implementing the first ever energy efficiency standards for freshwater rotodynamic (centrifugal and axial flow) pumps. These standards will directly affect pump manufacturers and, to a lesser extent, the pump repair market, while ultimately benefiting end users if the new focus can reduce their energy costs.

What’s in a nameplate?

Information helps the selection of the right motor regardless of application

  • November 2018
  • Number of views: 95
Trade press article Plant Engineering

Whether you're selecting a motor for a new application or a replacement for one that has failed, you need a reliable way to match the capabilities and performance characteristics of various motors with the requirements of the application.

Motor maintenance trends: 6 factors to evaluate

Recent EASA research studies provide new insights on repair vs. replace to help motors reliably drive machinery, pumps, conveyors, and other vital industrial equipment

  • June 2018
  • Number of views: 93
Trade press article Plant Engineering

When faced with an ailing or failed motor, plant operators typically consider whether to repair or replace it. According to a 2014 study conducted by Plant Engineering magazine for the Electrical Apparatus and Service Association (EASA), just more than one-half of plants have a policy of automatically replacing failed electric motors below a certain horsepower rating. While that horsepower rating varied depending upon the plant’s installed motor population, the average rating was 30 hp.

While such policies address a portion of the motors used at most plants, they do not cover what occurs with those motors. That question was addressed in a more recent research project commissioned by EASA that focused on the disposition of electric motors considered for repair.

Best practices for vertical turbine pump repair

Learn warning signs of needed repairs and avoid common mistakes

  • June 2018
  • Number of views: 126
Trade press article Pumps & Systems

Vertical turbine pumps (VTPs) are workhorses in the petrochemical, power generation and manufacturing industries, and prolific in municipal water applications that handle the primary intake load. Although these machines are ruggedly built, abrasive sediments in the pumpage take a toll, particularly on line shaft and pump bowl bearings, so periodic overhauls are often necessary. Rather than simply replacing the bearings, however, it is important that repairs address all of the issues needed to restore maximum operating life.

Understand vertical motor bearings

Vertical motors differ from horizontal units in various ways, including their oil-leak risks

  • April 2018
  • Number of views: 124
Trade press article Efficient Plant

Bearing construction is a key difference between vertical motors and horizontal motors that are mounted vertically. Vertical motors typically drive pumps using thrust bearings. Horizontal motors rarely have those types of bearings. Understanding relevant construction and configuration factors is crucial when confronting lubrication-related issues that can be associated with vertical-motor bearings.

Practical advice for motor protection

New IEEE standard provides guidance for motor protection for industrial and commercial applications

  • March 2018
  • Number of views: 59
Trade press article Electrical Construction & Maintenance

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has published a new standard: IEEE Std. 3004.8-2016, “Recommended Practice for Motor Protection in Industrial and Commercial Power Systems.” If you’re an electrical professional who deals with a broad spectrum of motor protection schemes, including low- and medium-voltage AC and DC motors, then you need to become familiar with this standard.

What's causing your high motor current?

Understand the source of the problem to tackle it effectively and efficiently

  • February 2018
  • Number of views: 67
Trade press article Plant Services

The most frequent concern about high current with a three-phase motor is high no-load current. But the broad issue of high no-load current isn’t the only three-phase motor issue to which plants should pay heed.

Understand motor/system baselines

  • May 2017
  • Number of views: 72
Trade press article Maintenance Technology

Vibration readings provide the best early warning of developing problems in a motor or system component. Other parameters to monitor may include operating temperature of critical components, mechanical tolerances, and overall system performance, including outputs such as flow rate, tonnage, and volume.

Solve vertical pump motor vibration

Knowledge of common vibratory forces helps diagnose and correct problems

  • February 2017
  • Number of views: 91
Trade press article Processing Magazine

High vibration is a common problem for motors that are installed on top of vertical pumps. Its source can be a mechanical issue with the pump, motor or coupling or even hydraulic forces from the pump.

Considerations for using VFDs with standard motors

  • December 2016
  • Number of views: 86
Trade press article Plant Engineering

There are a few areas of concern involving the misapplication variable frequency drives (VFDs) on a standard induction motor. This article looks at some of those.

Heed design letters when replacing motors

  • November 2016
  • Number of views: 71
Trade press article Maintenance Technology

Too often, replacement specifications for three-phase squirrel-cage induction motors cover only basic nameplate data such as power, speed, voltage, and frame size, while overlooking other important performance characteristics such as the design letter. This can lead to misapplication of a motor, causing poor performance, inoperability, or failures that result in unnecessary downtime.

How to properly operate a three-phase motor using single-phase power

  • October 2016
  • Number of views: 132
Trade press article Plant Engineering

There are several methods to operating a three-phase motor using single-phase power to make what would be an otherwise expensive and arduous process a little easier.

Motor connection tips for avoiding costly mistakes

  • August 2016
  • Number of views: 63
Trade press article Control Engineering

Manufacturers deploy various external connection schemes to produce three-phase induction motors for multiple voltages and/or starting methods, so successful installation depends on using the relevant connection diagram. If this information is lost, damaged, or ignored, a connection mistake could lead to a costly rewind.

Power to the pump

  • August 2016
  • Number of views: 92
Trade press article Electrical Construction & Maintenance

An important step when selecting a centrifugal pump and an electric motor for an application or when troubleshooting operation issues is to determine how much power the pump should be using.

Sleeve bearing clearance depends on many factors

  • June 2016
  • Number of views: 82
Trade press article Plant Engineering

“What’s the proper clearance between a shaft and the sleeve bearing it rides in?” Chances are each of us has a rule of thumb for this, probably related to shaft diameter.

My motor failed. Now what?

  • June 2016
  • Number of views: 86
Trade press article Maintenance Technology

Process downtime is expensive—even more so when it’s unexpected. So, when an electric motor fails, we tend to pull, repair, or replace it, and move on as quickly as possible. In doing so, however, we may miss an opportunity to capture basic information that could help improve the reliability of the application. With a little planning, these data can be gathered with no delay in startup.

Motors: The proactive approach to voltage unbalance

  • June 2016
  • Number of views: 58
Trade press article Engineered Systems

It’s impossible to balance line-to-line voltages perfectly in three-phase circuits, so they typically differ by a few volts or more. However, if voltage unbalance exceeds 1%, it can markedly decrease the performance and energy efficiency of three-phase motors while increasing the likelihood of premature failure.

Avoid costly motor connection mistakes

  • May 2016
  • Number of views: 87
Trade press article Maintenance Technology

Manufacturers deploy various external connection schemes to produce three-phase induction motors for multiple voltages and/or starting methods. Be sure to follow the relevant connection diagram, which is usually affixed to the motor or contained in its manual. If the diagram is lost, damaged, or ignored, you could find yourself dealing with a costly rewind.

The importance of impeller design and best efficiency point

  • May 2016
  • Number of views: 75
Trade press article Electrical Construction & Maintenance

If you work with electric motors and pumps, you’ll eventually encounter a pump curve and one of its key parameters — best efficiency point (BEP). The BEP is the point on the curve where the pump operates most efficiently. Unique to each pump, the BEP is a product of both impeller design and several related pump curve parameters.

How to ensure effective motor repair and rewind

Speak the same language as your service center when it comes to setting performance expectations

  • May 2016
  • Number of views: 68
Trade press article Plant Services

Electric motor efficiency can be maintained during repair and rewind by following defined good practices. This article builds on a previous discussion of PM and PdM for three-phase squirrel-cage motors ("PM and PdM for electric motors") by outlining some of the expectations and good practices for repairs of these types of motors.

Can you repair energy-efficient motors? Maybe.

  • April 2016
  • Number of views: 100
Trade press article Wood Business

Most plant engineers and maintenance staff can attest to the reliability of standard-efficiency motors that have been repaired or rewound using industry best practices. They also know repair can cost far less than replacement, especially when the motor has special features. Despite this, some of them hesitate to have failed energy-efficient motors (NEMA Premium models, in particular) repaired because they’ve heard it degrades efficiency.

So, what’s the right answer? Is the decision to repair, rewind or replace a failed energy-efficient motor as simple and straightforward as you may have heard?

Loaded question: How much do you know about motor load?

Careful evaluation of motor load requirements could yield long-term savings

  • January 2016
  • Number of views: 81
Trade press article Plant Services

Right-sizing of three-phase induction motors for different applications – and striking a balance between reliability and efficiency – isn’t always easy, but it can be cost-effective.

Basic procedures assure reliability of stored motors

Methods differ among small and large motors and for short- or long-term storage

  • December 2015
  • Number of views: 58
Trade press article Machinery & Equipment MRO

Downtime is costly, so it pays to have spare motors for critical applications. But unless they are stored properly, those spares may not perform reliably when needed.